Book: LILY OF THE NILE
Author: STEPHANIE DRAY
Genre: HISTORICAL FICTION
Published: January 2011, BERKLEY TRADE
Source: Star Book Tours, no other compensation given for honest review
To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?
The first time that I read a book by Stephanie Dray, it was actually from her adult urban fiction alter, Stephanie Draven. What she brings across the different genres she writes is a very strong female character, and a really deep understanding of women and their place in history. I know a little bit about Cleopatra and her reign as Queen, next to Mark Anthony. A little bit. Reading about her children was a whole new experience for me, and I really enjoyed LILY OF THE NILE.
Selene, Cleopatra's daughter knows only Egypt and their culture. When she is ripped from the only place that she knows, and brought to the home country of her mother's husband, she sees barbarians that triumph in war and the utter subjugation of other cultures. Dray writes this young girl with such alacrity, especially because Selene is not a fictional person. The reader spends most of the time feeling Selene's displacement, and her struggle to maintain herself, in the midst of a culture that seemingly does not value anything she has been brought up to cherish.
Not only is LILY OF THE NILE beautifully written, but it had to involve a fair amount of research to come to fruition. And, what really made me engage in the book so much more, was the fact that I follow Stephanie Dray on twitter, and she truly seems committed to revealing the inner lives of some of the most powerful women in the world's history, in order to bring that empowerment to young female readers.
4/5 for plot
4/5 for characters
4/5 for language
My Rating: 12/15 (3.5 stars)
Highly Recommended, if you liked:
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Contagion by Joanne Dahme
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
Links for the author and books:
* Barnes and Noble
* Book Depository
Available formats: Print (Paperback), E-Book